We went pumpkin picking at a huge pumpkin patch recently. A fairly new phenomenon here in the UK, but a long-standing tradition in America for many years, and one that is now rapidly gaining popularity here too.
It was mind-blowing to see the sheer number of pumpkins available and watching them piled high in wheelbarrows, but it made me wonder just how many people throw them out after carving them for Halloween.
According to the latest figures as a nation, we discard 18,000 tonnes of edible pumpkin into landfill sites every year – the equivalent of 1500 double-decker buses!
Fortunately, people are becoming more educated and aware of food waste and there is now a big push to encourage everyone to be thoughtful with what they do with their pumpkins to avoid them going to landfill.
If you are carving a pumpkin this year there are lots of delicious ideas and recipes for cooking the scooped out flesh and toasting the seeds. From soups to cakes and pies, there really is something for every taste. Any leftover pumpkin that is still fresh can often be donated to feed farm animals or to wildlife shelters. Or sections can be used as temporary bird feeders filled with fat and seeds. Pumpkin past its best can always be composted.
As we collectively become more responsible consumers it would be amazing if we could reduce the amount of pumpkin waste this year, and make the most of these marvelous veggies!
What will you do with your pumpkin this year?